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THE MIDWEST >> THE GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL TUMULT COMPLEX RECORD LOST LEGACY
   

Like geology and astronomy, archeology is a science to which lay people often make great contributions. The Midwest’s vast agricultural expanse offers better prospects for amateur collectors than elsewhere. Over the last century people have seized this opportunity, accumulating large caches of artifacts that now reside in trunks, cigar boxes, or display cases in homes, basements, and sometimes county museums.

Tragically many such collections are lost to study—dispersed as curiosities or commodities—once they fall into the hands of heirs or others who lack the original collector’s passion.

Imagine the pages of Gutenberg bibles torn out and sold for a few dollars each. Something similar is the fate of many collections. Once lost, they can never be restored. The gain to the few is small and fleeting, while the collective loss to us all is irreparable. 

  (photo) Man with box walking in field.
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Stone knife.

MJB/EJL